BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri On Wrestling Body Row

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'Athletes Shouldn't Become Tools Of Someone': BJP MP On Wrestling Body Row

“They have made the country proud, they’re talented athletes.”

New Delhi:

Amid the heated debate on the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections with wrestler Sakshi Malik announcing retirement and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri, Bharatiya Janata Party MP, Ramesh Bidhuri has said that the athletes should have the mentality of athletes, they should not become the tools of someone.

“They have made the country proud, they’re talented athletes. Athletes should have the mentality of athletes; they should not become the tools of someone. Last time, politicians of Haryana brought them (athletes) in front for their political benefits and to spoil the careers of these athletes. Whoever has been elected as WFI chief, their (athletes) job is to practice,” Ramesh Bidhuri told ANI.

Former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s aide Sanjay Singh was elected as the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Saturday said that the wrestler should have not returned the award as it was his right.

“Their (wrestlers’) awards are their right. They shouldn’t return it they should keep it and keep playing their sport,” Mr Vij said.

A day after a close aide of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been charged with sexual harassment of women wrestlers by Delhi Police, was elected as president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Bajrang Punia said Friday that he was returning the Padma Shri.

Bajrang, who has won multiple medals for India at the World and Asian Championships apart from the Asian Games, was stopped by Delhi Police Friday evening at Kartavya Path when he tried to walk towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence.

Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, who was the face of wrestlers’ protest against former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations, announced that she is quitting wrestling after his aide Sanjay Singh was elected president of the federation.

The newly elected president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Sanjay Singh on Saturday stated that taking retirement is a personal call of an athlete and said he would refrain to speak on this matter.

“Those who are athletes have already started preparing and those who want to engage in politics can do that. It is their personal matter, I will not speak about this…I have been in the federation for 12 years. Just because I am close to MP (Brij Bhushan Singh) does not mean I am a dummy candidate. Is it a crime if I am close to him?” Sanjay told the reporters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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